As a former librarian, Harvada Elisberg, owner of Children's Bookshop in Appleton, Wis., is accustomed to compiling bibliographies. So it was natural for her to offer to provide subject bibliographies for area teachers and school librarians. "It's a lot of work, but it's worth it," says Elisberg, who recently drew up bibliographies on magic, sports and riddles for two first-grade teachers for their family literacy projects.
"The teachers make up backpacks to send home with the students," says Elisberg, explaining how the family literacy program works. Elementary school teachers in the Appleton community fill up several empty backpacks with books for the students in their classroom and those children's younger and older siblings to read. During the school year, the students sign up to borrow a backpack for a week.
Once the teachers decide on which titles from the bibliographies to use in the literacy backpacks, they buy the books from Elisberg. "In some cases, I'll do a bibliography, and they'll go through that to choose," she says. "Sometimes they'll make an appointment to come in and meet with me, and they'll have a ball going through the actual books."
Elisberg has no doubt that she provides a useful service, and she's probably one of the few booksellers to get Christmas gifts from school librarians. In addition, librarians list her store as a place where parents can buy books on the school's wish list. Elisberg gives a 15% discount on all purchases that will be donated.